After a 50-year career at the top of Atlantic Canada’s health care industry, Anne McGuire can’t stop revving her engines

Posted on July 01, 2021 | By Alec Bruce | 0 Comments

If you ask what Anne McGuire wants to be when she grows up, the 74-year-old former CEO of the IWK Health Centre says it’s a toss-up. On the one hand, spending a year making law in the Canadian senate would be cool. On the other hand, driving in the Daytona 500 would be super cool. “I’m a bit of a political junkie,” she says. “But, I love speed. Retirement is just a transition.”

She ought to know. She’s been officially “retired” for six years. But that hasn’t stopped her from helping engineer a remarkable expansion of one of the country’s premier summer camps for kids with physical and mental challenges. Since its launch nearly 10 years ago, Annapolis Valley-based Brigadoon Village has grown from 40 kids to nearly 700 enrolled in more than a dozen programs in 2019, the last full year before Covid. Anne McGuire has been its board chair since 2015.

In fact, it’s safe to say, not much other than a global pandemic can stop McGuire once she sets her sights on something, and that includes whatever peculiar definition of retirement she endorses. “I don’t believe that Anne has ever really retired,” Brigadoon executive director David Graham says. “She just moves to work that she can continue to be passionate about. As for her being a senator or a NASCAR driver, I can certainly see that. They are the ‘Sober Second Thought’ and ‘Coming through, get out of my way!’ that carries through in her work.”

Born and raised in Winnipeg and small-town Manitoba, she earned a Bachelor of Nursing from McGill University, a Master of Health Service Administration from Dalhousie University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (Dal). She’s the former CEO of the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority and the Nova Scotia Hospital. She’s been chair of the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations (NSAHO) and the Nova Scotia Health Academic Council. While still president and CEO of the IWK Health Centre (2004-2014), she co-Chaired the Nova Scotia government’s Early Years Initiative in 2013.

On her wall of “brass and glass” hangs an Award of Distinction from the IWK Board of Directors; a Certificate of Special Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to the Improvement of Mental Health of Children, Youth and Families from the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; a Contribution to Child Health Award from the Association of Pediatric Health Centres; a Canadian Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year (Atlantic Division, 2012); and five, annual Top 50 CEO Awards from Atlantic Business Magazine (she was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2012).

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